The Zap - the site the Chinese government is currently using as its home page

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I like music quite a lot - probably too much - and for a fair few years now, I've lived under the assumption that I'd eventually be able to make a career for myself writing songs and playing songs and doing other associated things. I just finished writing a song. It's definitely not my first song, but it's the first I've managed to see through to completion. It's called 'Love By Any Other Name' and you can listen to it here.

It's about the stupid ways I think love construes itself - "I would get into a fight that I had no chance of winning" is the first line, and the one which I wrote first and ultimately inspired the rest of the song. That line in particular had been floating around in my head even before the song started to take shape, it was just a sentiment I'd always liked and had wanted to get into a song someway or other, so when an appropriate melody for it came to light, I was quite happy.

Anyway, it gets more and more ridiculous until towards the end I'm singing "I'd kill you just so I could be sure that you knew my name", which is supposed to be about killing someone you like so they can then read about it in the newspaper or see it on the news or something, so if they didn't know your name before you killed them, they'll never be able to forget it now. Except they'll be dead, obviously, so it doesn't really make sense, but it's kind of supposed to not make sense, because the whole point of the song is that every action is completely irrational. And then in the chorus I wonder whether those sorts of things are actually what define love or if I'm just MENTAL, before concluding that maybe all love is is being mental. So that's that.

It took much longer to complete than the song deserved - about 3 years, of which probably all but 6 months or so were spent writing the one verse I needed to finish - and now I'm not sure I like it. It's definitely not the sort of song I'd write now. Kind of twee. I don't like twee. But even more likely and even more distressing is that other people don't like it. And I know it's only one song, but to spend so long on it only for people to say it suggests music is something you have no future in - when you've pinned literally all your hopes on having a future in music - is quite depressing. More than quite depressing, actually. I can't separate music from my life. If I can't make music and make a success of myself doing it, my life has no point. So to fall at the first hurdle... well, that's crap.